Our "nest" is officially empty again. Ever since May, our household has been full of activity. Ryan graduated from college and made his way home for the summer, followed by Caitlin, upon completing her spring semester. David, then also returned home from Kentucky for his nuptials. The Rogenmoser household was vibrant and alive once again. That's when I realized something...I was going to miss all of that chaos when everyone headed out in the fall. Well, that time has arrived and here we are...empty nesters again.
Each child made their way back to their respective homes or schools and I was not looking forward to the last one leaving. So, Caitlin and I made the most of our last month together by enjoying going to the gym, shopping, eating lunch out and viewing some afternoon movies. This year, she would be transferring to a new college. Instead of living an hour away, she would be close to 3 hours away...in another state...Texas, to be exact.
Although I knew in my heart that this move was a good thing, I was not looking forward to the actual "physical" aspect of the move itself. There are many things that I do not like about moving. I suppose the number 1 thing would have to be the boxing up of everything...and then the unboxing of it all again. But, I have a new thing that is definitely moving its way up the list; moving those darn boxes into an UPSTAIRS apartment! WHY, I must ask, is EVERY apartment that she lives in UPSTAIRS? I was hopeful that this move to Texas would find us moving her into a ground level apartment. But, alas...NO! Yet ANOTHER second floor abode (ugh). As I stood there looking up those daunting steps, I was dreading the boxes even more. It was not simply the fact that we had to move those boxes upstairs, but I KNEW how Caitlin packed. Each box was SO HEAVY that it took both of us to lift and carry them from the parking lot to her new lofty apartment.
It was not long at all (ummm...immediately, to be exact) before the sweat began to pour, our faces turned red and quite frankly my heart started palpitating along with having difficulty breathing. OH...did I fail to mention that it was only about 126 degrees outside?! Trip after trip, we shoved boxes inside a bedroom approximately the size of my bathroom (actually, I think my bathroom might be a little larger!) The closet was even tinier. We stood there looking at this new place, Caitlin was to call home and that's when I asked, " WHERE are you going to put all of this stuff?" She said not to worry...she had a plan. Well, I hoped so, because it was soon evident that I had created a real life "Elle Woods". Clothes and shoes overflowed her room. There was NO WAY it would all fit into that closet. She then informed me that she would be adding two more rods (one she would have to access by climbing on a chair) and a couple of shoe racks to the closet in question. Also, as I assisted her with unpacking, I noticed that all of the decor for her room was in Elle Wood-ish, bright splashy colors (this was in stark contrast to the conservative decor throughout the rest of the apartment)...hot pink, green, blue and purple. When a roommate asked if she had a tool kit she could borrow, she replied, "Sure." The roomie (who had been watching this unbelievable unpacking scenario) asked, "Is it pink?" "Yep, ABSOLUTELY!", she chuckled. Paper flowers on the wall, fuzzy green rug on the floor, lime green retro chair at her desk...Hey, I thought, this generic looking place IS beginning to look and feel homier by the minute.
It was after 3 p.m. and I needed to get on the road; I had a long trip back...ALONE. I suppose I chose not to think about that aspect of the move up until then. And that's when the reality hit me...I did NOT like an "empty nest". I know that lots of folks enjoy their nests being empty, but I prefer mine to be crowded. Oh, I know it is loud and chaotic whenever the nest is full. But, I can't remember a time whenever kids did not fill my house and my world. They have made my life more eventful, sure. However, they have also made my life fuller. I could never imagine life without them. So...although they are all scattered from Louisiana to Mississippi to Texas, I can still talk to them every day...AND begin to plan our fabulous fall and winter holiday celebrations, when my nest will be full again; if only temporarily.